Last Updated: April 25, 2022
This guide is for the version of the Earth Genasi published in Monsters of the Multiverse. For the classic version of the Genasi, see our Genasi Handbook.
Descendants of Dao, the genies native to the elemental plane of earth, the Earth Genasi’s traits are (somewhat) earth themed.
Prior to Monsters of the Multiverse, Earth Walk only worked on rocky terrain. While this made sense thematically, it was also extremely limiting. Freed from this restriction, you’re free to walk through difficult terrain created by plants, sand, etc.
Innate spellcasting is easily the Earth Genasi’s most notable trait. Pass Without Trace solves the challenge of stealth for your whole party, and since you can re-cast it with spell slots, you can bring it to any spellcasting class. The Earth Genasi’s unique ability to cast Blade Ward as a Bonus Action a few times per day may be the only way that Blade Ward could be better than the Dodge action. It’s very similar in concept and effect to the Goliath’s Stones Endurance, but notably you need to use it ahead of time.
Table of Contents
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
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The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released, and the article will be updated accordingly as time allows.
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Earth Genasi Classes
This section assumes that you’re using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. If you’re not using those rules, scroll down to the next section.
Armorer artificers were already very well suited to stealth, but adding Pass Without Trace makes you functionally unstoppable. Other artificers will enjoy the ability to cast Blade Ward as a bonus action, especially those artificers who start with 8 Dexterity and need to cower their way through levels 1 and 2 before getting heavy armor proficiency from your subclass.
You can’t cast spells while raging, and even if you could, Blade Ward provides the same damage resistance that Rage does. The ability to walk through difficult terrain is nice, but with the Barbarian’s Strength you can typically just jump over it. Beyond that, Darkvision and Pass Without Trace simply aren’t enough.
Bards typically shouldn’t be drawing enough for to warrant Blade Ward, but some people play melee bards (I know, I was stunned to learn this, too) and Blade Ward as a Bonus Action is helpful protection on a class with d8 hit points and poor armor.
Clerics don’t get access to Blade Ward or Pass Without Trace, and despite sometimes getting heavy armor, d8 hit points still feels frail compared to classes like the Fighter. Clerics also typically can’t spare the Strength to match martial classes, so jumping over difficult terrain isn’t as easy, which makes Earth Walk helpful. Basically all of the Earth Genasi’s traits are additive for the Cleric.
Druids are notoriously frail compared to clerics, so Blade Ward feels tempting. But keep in mind that it’s still only a few times per day, so it’s not enough to save you. Clerics can already cast Pass Without Trace. If difficult terrain is a problem, either fight at range or turn into a bird or something.
Since only the Eldritch Knight has spell slots to re-cast your innate spells, that’s your best fighter option. Eldritch Knights do get access to Blade Ward, but not Pass Without Trace. If you plan to be stealthy, you want to build around Dexterity. While you can already cast Blade Ward as a Bonus Action a few times per day, War Magic allows you to cast it every turn at the cost of most of your attacks, but the combination feels thematically appropriate for an earth genasi.
Darkvision, Earth Walk, and Pass Without Trace are both nice on a monk, but without a way to re-cast Pass Without Trace the Earth Genasi’s traits are minimally useful. Even Blade Ward feels redundant thanks to Patient Defense.
Similar to the Fighter, an earth genasi paladin should build around Dexterity to capitalize on Pass Without Trace. You don’t get the cool War Magic combo, but it’s not a huge loss. Paladins are already incredibly durable.
Blade Ward as a bonus action adds some helpful durability, but rangers lean heavily on their bonus actions so using it will often mean a major drop in your damage output for that round. Pass Without Trace is already on the Ranger’s spell list, and you get it at the same level. The extra spell slot and spell known are nice, but not very impactful.
Rogues already heavily rely on their Bonus Action for Cunning Action, Steady Aim, and Two-Weapon Fighting, so Blade Ward as a Bonus Action is a hard prospect. Pass Without Trace is great, but it’s just not enough.
Sorcerers should not be in a situation where they need Blade Ward. If you’re worried, learn Shield. Pass Without Trace is a great addition, but it’s not enough.
The typical warlock will get little benefit from the Earth Genasi’s traits, but a hexblade will do very well. Blade Ward as a Bonus Action a few times per day adds quite a bit of durability when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
The typical wizard will get little benefit from the Earth Genasi’s traits, but a bladesinger will do very well. Blade Ward as a Bonus Action a few times per day adds quite a bit of durability for the brief periods where you’re running around in melee. At high levels you can use Stoneskin instead, but you need to survive long enough to get there.